For leaders of volunteers and volunteer involvement, updates on news from the field, new volunteer management resources, and a monthly quick tip about successfully engaging volunteers.   
TopQTipTransform Your Organization by Committing to "Knowledge Philanthropists"

I recently revisited a book that we've been selling in our online store since it was published in 2013: The Abundant Not-for-Profit by Colleen Kelly and Lynda Gerty. In it, Kelly and Gerty share their experience at Vantage Point in Vancouver, Canada as it transformed the way it looked at money, volunteers, and paid staff. In the book, they challenge old-fashioned views of volunteering and emphasize the untapped wealth of "knowledge philanthropists" - people who will donate their expertise to causes that matter to them, if invited to participate in significant work. I love that way of identifying volunteers! Read more...
June Hot Topic
By Susan J. Ellis, President Energize, Inc.

Find the Money for Priceless Conferencing
Do you only go to a volunteerism conferences if your employer covers the costs? Do you value your own professional development enough to pay for it yourself? Once you're at an event, are you doing everything you can to make it priceless for your learning and enjoyment? Susan offers a lot of tips to broaden your perspective. Read this Month's Hot Topic.  
You can subscribe to the Hot Topic as a podcast or  RSS text feed - or listen to the audio online.

News from the Field

UK Celebrates Volunteers'

UK's national week to recognize volunteers is always celebrated on 1-7 June in all four countries. Visit for events and celebration resources. In addition, To mark the occasion, this NCVO is providing free volunteerism resources for the whole week, including:

Leaders of Volunteers in Ontario, CAN: Don't Miss Live2017 
The Professional Association of Volunteer Leaders - Ontario (PAVRO) invites volunteer engagement professionals (those who work with, or lead volunteers) to attend Live2017, a conference on June 21 - 23, 2017 for 2-1/2 days of learning, networking and connecting. The conference theme is "Honouring the Past, Anticipating the Future: Celebrating 150 years of Volunteer Leadership in Canada." Learn more.


Still have time on your calendar in July?
Join many of the Energize staff, trainers, and authors in St. Paul, MN for the
Check out the Summit's Facebook page for all sorts of news of what's being planned, or follow its Twitter feed. Use @NtlSummit or #17NTLSummit. 

Don't Miss Out! Register NOW. 
Spotlight on Resources
Plan Your Professional Development

Susan's Hot Topic this month urges you to grow professionally by attending conferences on volunteer management. Do you know where to find events such as the two shared above? A great place to start is the Calendar of Conferences, Workshops and Seminars on the Energize site. In fact, all of the listings in the Directory for the Volunteer Management Profession can guide you to finding colleagues, associations, and other real-world resources.

Reminder: Our listings are only as good as the information YOU share with us! And we're international, not just sharing American activities. There is no cost for submitting information about your event - workshop, course, conference - and you'll find a form to do so on every page of the Directory. Same is true for the listing of professional associations in geographic areas. If your group isn't on the list, please let us know! 
e-Volunteerism The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community
evolNew Articles Available 
Volume XVII, Issue 3

Free Access this Month 
From the Archives:

Who Needs Balance? How the Work-Life Balance of Volunteers Impacts Them and Your Organisation  (X, 1, Oct. 2009) - As a volunteer manager, have you ever explored how volunteering fits into the balance of the lives of your team? Many people talk about their lives as a "juggling act," in which they feel pulled in many directions by the demands of paid work, family care, community involvement, physical fitness and emotional health. Whether volunteers or employees, not all people have appropriate balance or clearly established boundaries in their lives. This Training Design by Kerrie Spinks is an opportunity to explore how the work-life balance of volunteers impacts your organisation.
From the Current Issue:

Mistakes and Failures Are Our Greatest Teachers: Do We Make the Most of Them?  - When was the last time you went to a conference workshop that focused on how someone failed? Don't we most often focus instead on the successes we've had? We should learn from mistakes and be willing to share what we learned with others. Activities without risk may seem safe, but "are actually dormant. Worse, they may no longer be helpful to your mission, which means that you are asking volunteers to waste their time."

Subscriber Access Only  
( Subscribe for a full year or 48-hour access)
New Postings Since the Last Update:

TimeBank Members Form Community by Providing and Receiving Services
- In this Voices essay, Kerry Martin explores the evolution and significance of TimeBanking, a concept that operates on a very core principle: For every hour of service that members provide to one another, they earn an hour that's redeemable for another service for them. He explains how TimeBanking has expanded to 40 countries, noting that "TimeBank members open their hearts to not only help one another but also be helped by one another."
Critical Timing for Volunteering and the Internet - While some have yet to adopt a web-based approach to recruiting and working with volunteers, the conversation has already advanced to using more effective mobile apps to offer more relevant opportunities to individual volunteers and also help automate applications, background checking, and dynamic reporting processes. Sam Fankuchen, the founder of Golden, a top-ranked mobile app for volunteers, shares his expertise on electronic access that impacts volunteers. Fankuchen challenges when he asks: Are we ready to position our volunteer opportunity listings so that every volunteer on every device in every community can find them?    
What's Coming Up? 
Volume XVII, Issue 3 is almost complete, with one article still to come with tips for training teenage volunteers. As always, the articles from all past issues remain available in the journal Archives . 
You can subscribe to e-Volunteerism  for a full year or for 48-hour access. Note that subscribers have full access to the Archives of all 16 previous volume years.
Copyright-free Graphics about Volunteerism
Did you know we have created copyright-free graphics to use as you wish in motivating volunteers? Here's a sample. Visit our Pinterest page to see this board and more images we collect for you. 
QTipSusan's Quick Tip Continued...
They stress that seeing volunteers as knowledge philanthropists also means re-focusing the paid staff. The following thoughts are excerpted from pp. 61-63 of The Abundant Not-for-Profit.

There should be a significant focus on people who are constant - the salaried employees. Those who make up the leadership team have the specific qualities and attributes required to engage and lead leaders. They are expected to meaningfully engage volunteers in all of their work.

Salaried employees are not focused on "doing." Rather they aim to lead others (who have exceptional talent) toward "doing." They have the ability to motivate and inspire others. They understand their job isn't to do the work on their job description - it is to make sure it gets done. In a "people lens" culture, salaried employees are the catalysts.

One place to start is to hire salaried employees at the leadership level who don't
require rules to follow. This means hiring people who have initiative and do
not require extensive direction; ...[it] presumes that people think. It assumes the salaried employee leadership team can develop effective approaches and innovative solutions. They are eager to involve others in order to effectively get work done with excellence.
Here are some examples of the attributes and responsibilities that appear in
the job descriptions of the salaried employees who make up the Vantage Point
leadership team:

  • Exceptional leader with a highly collaborative work ethic. Ability to develop and empower teams of talented people by providing motivation, coaching and support.
  • Organized and proactive individual with the initiative to develop and champion projects.
  • Passionate, entrepreneurial spirit with capacity to take risks and manage change. Ability to work within and foster a "learning organization."
  • Ability to keep salaried employees and knowledge philanthropists engaged and informed about decisions, events and developments.


  • Lead an integrated talent team to deliver our mission by developing and delivering programs and services.
  • Engage and supervise specifically skilled, management level volunteers to build program and organizational capacity, work with high-level task forces.
  • Supervise the performance and development of administrative and coordinator level talent and appropriately encourage and enable them to work with knowledge philanthropists. 

Hiring for these specific attributes and responsibilities means salaried employees have the ability to engage knowledge philanthropists. They take this approach from the beginning of each program or project by recruiting subject experts, evaluators, planners, advisors, project managers and strategists. This is in sharp contrast to typical project planning, where salaried employees develop the program or project and then recruit volunteers to execute. It ensures high quality programming, and also builds deep buy-in from many talented people during planning and development. Often, the same people then want to be involved in the execution.

Most organizations are nowhere near Kelly and Gerty's vision of paid staff accomplishing at their best through high-powered volunteers sharing their knowledge philanthropically. They want us to share this vision, noting how many people today cannot find volunteer work that challenges them. Food for thought, no? As they say:

Here's the thing: this untapped talent is as valuable as money. And yet most of us don't see it that way - talent as a critical resource which allows us to meet our mission.


Want to read more about
The Abundant Not-for-Profit?

Get it today in the Energize Online Bookstore.

This Quick Tip comes from Susan J. Ellis, President of Energize, Inc. 
Want more of Susan's Wisdom? Read her books
You'll find them in our Online Bookstore. 

Energize, Inc. has been on the Web s ince 1997  offering over 1200 pages of information about successfully involving volunteers in your efforts. Visit our site to learn all about volunteer engagement techniques; find ways to connect with colleagues; gain insight into trends, issues, and even controversy in the field; locate conferences and other professional development opportunities; and more!

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